November 1, 2020 • Life for Leaders
Scripture – Psalm 17:4-5 (MSG)
I’m not trying to get my way in the world’s way. I’m trying to get your way, your Word’s way. I’m staying on your trail; I’m putting one foot in front of the other. I’m not giving up.
Life is a series of choices. Along the way, we can either be people who are trying to get our own way in the world’s way, or we can be people who are trying to work on behalf of God’s way.
Yesterday’s devotion was about our willingness to invite God to drop by unannounced. Today’s devotion is about what God will find when God drops by.
David makes the case that when God visits him in the middle of the night, God will find someone who’s not trying to get his own way in the world’s way, but instead is following in the steps of God.
For me, the notion of not working toward our own way in the world’s way feels particularly relevant this week. In a short time, we’ll find out who’s going to be president of the United States for the next four years. Right now, all I can think about is how badly I want to get my way. Like, I really, really want my person to win and I want the vision of America I believe in to prevail. Of course I’m not the only one who wants my way this week. Lots of people think differently from me—they want their vision of the future to come true just as much as I want mine.
Maybe my sense of how hard it is to not want my way in the world’s way this election season is why I find David’s confidence in his own motives so striking. Now, we know from elsewhere in Scripture that David is a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). He really loves God and does his best to follow God. So, did David have some special ability to pursue the way of God instead of his own way in the world’s way?
I wonder if David’s ability to focus on following God has less to do with a kind of specialness and more to do with his step-by-step faithfulness. David describes himself as putting one foot in front of the other in order to follow the way of God. For this goal, David tells God that he’s not going to give up. He’s committed.
We too can walk in the way of God by focusing our energy on the step-by-step faithfulness that David describes in this prayer. So, what does that actually look like? Sometimes following God looks like big choices. But so much of the time, following God looks like the daily choices we make. The choices to move toward God, to move toward others, to even move toward ourselves.
This is a week where many of us will have a lot of choices. We’ll choose to vote, for sure. But we’ll also choose how to talk about the election with our friends or how to manage our anxiety fanned by the news. We’ll choose how to talk to our coworkers and our kids and what to talk about. We’ll choose what to post on social media and how to talk to people we interact with in the grocery store. We’ll make choices about how to celebrate or how to grieve. In some ways, we’ll have just as many choices as other weeks. In other ways, it’s a pretty unique week.
In all of these choices—and the countless others facing us—may we seek the way of God, and not our own. May we walk, putting one foot in front of the other, not giving up on the way of God.
Consider your own tendencies. When you do you feel like you want to get your own way? What might stand in the way of you seeking God’s way in all your choices?
When you’re faced with a choice this week, consider how the way of the world differs with the way of God.
God, it’s so easy for me to want to get my way in the world’s way. When I do this, remind me that you invite me how good and full your way is. Help me delight in your invitation to walk step-by-step behind you. Amen.
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Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Ultimate Satisfaction
Dr. Michaela O’Donnell is the Executive Director of the Max De Pree Center for Leadership where she oversees the center’s vision, strategy, program, and team, all with the goal of helping leaders like you respond faithfully to God in all seasons of your life and leadership.
Michaela’s first book, Make Work Matter: Your Guide to Meaningful Work in a Changing World is due out in October with Baker Books. It’s already getting rave reviews from folks such as Dave Evans, Mark Labberton, Missy Wallace, Luke Bobo, Dee Ann Tuner, Kara Powell, and more. This book is a reflection of Michaela’s heart as both an entrepreneur and a practical theologian. Drawn to the real life working out of big issues, it is a how to for anyone walking the road of calling in a changing world.